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Westfield Oil Works

Location Uncertain, perhaps: 56.162842, -3.280797 show in map
Former parish and county Parish of Auchterderran, Fife
Current local authority area Fife
Construction history Built c 1883
Ownership history Westfield Oil Company Ltd
Demolition history Presumably demolished c.1889
Current status of site Probably now part of Westfield opencast site

Background

Redwood notes that Westfield Oil Works (formerly Capeldrae) began operation in 1883.

A substantial oil works, equipped with two benches of Young and Bielby retorts, producing oil from"coal shale" or cannel coal, presumably the same mineral used by the earlier Capeldrae Oil Works. Available evidence suggests that Westfield oil works were built on, or close to, the former site of Capeldrae works. Workers housing was constructed at Westfield Rows

A limited company; the Westfield Oil Company Ltd, was established to construct and operate the works There are many parallels between the Westfield Oil Company and the West Lothian Oil Company. Both were established in 1883, both were chaired by Donald T. Sutherland, provost of Bathgate, and both acquired mineral rights or property from the notorious George Simpson. Neither enterprise was ultimately successful.

Valuation Records

Entries between 1866 and 1888 cover both Capeldrae and Westfield Oil Works. Download details

Maps

Ordnance Survey maps reproduced by kind permission of the Trustees of the National Library of Scotland.

Snippets

WESTFIELD OIL WORKS FOR SALE. The WESTFIELD OIL WORKS and SHALE PITS. On the LANDS of PITKENNY and WESTFIELD, in the PARISH of AUCHTERDERRAN, along with LEASES of the SHALE. & c. The Works are connected with the Capeldrae Branch of the North British Railway by a line belonging to the Work. There are 80 retorts (Young & Beilby's Patent) built in Two benches, planned for distilling 100 tons of thereby of Shale per day, with the necessary appliances, including Engines, Condensers, &c. The Lands of Pitkinny and Westfield adjoin, and the Shale of the one property may be worked by Pits in the other. There are 28 Double Houses for Workmen belonging to the Work. The area under lease extends to upwards of 550 Acres. The Shale has been opened up, and lies in connection with a five-feet seam of coal which forms the roof, and with which the Retorts and engines are fired. The yield of Crude Oil per ton of Shale is upwards of 35 Gallons, and the Shale us understood to be suitable for Gas-making purposed. For further particulars application can be made to H. HORSBURGH, C.A., 46 Castle Street Edinburgh with whom sealed offers must be lodged no later than 17th January 1887. The Scotsman 30th December 1886.

IMPORTANT EXTENSIVE PUBLIC UN-RESERVED SALE OF FIXED AND MOVEABLE PLANT, BUILDINGS, AND ERECTIONS, AT WESTFIELD OIL COMPANY'S WORKS NEAR LOCHGELLY, FIFE ON THURSDAY the 28th JUNE 1888. Mr. GEORGE H. LORD has received instructions form H.M. HORSBURGH, Esq., C.A. Edinburgh, Official Liquidator, to Catalogue and SELL by PUBLIC ROUP, without reserve on the above date, the Whole of the Valuable FIXED and MOVEABLE MACHINERY, PLANT, BUILDINGS and ERECTIONS belonging to the WESTFIELD OIL COMPANY LIMITED, now in liquidation, and contained on the PREMISES at WESTFIELD, near Lochgelly, Fife, and comprising; - 2 Iron Benches of 40 retorts each, Young & Bielbey's Patent, with Mains, Condensers, Exhausters, &c., 14 Steam Boilers, 5 H.P. Engines, Pipes, W.I. Rails, 4 Steam Donkey Pumps, 2 Exhaust Fans, 2 and a half Tons Derrick Crane, with Pumping and Winding Gear for 3 pits; 12 Tanks, cisterns, Haulage Gearing, Hoist, Coke Tower, Stores, Office Furniture, Scrap Iron and Sundries. Also, Brick, Stone and Lime Work, forming Buildings, Erections and Chimney –Stalks. Sale to commence at 12 Noon. Catalogues to be ready shortly, and may be obtained on application to the Auctioneer. AUCTIONEER'S OFFICES AND MACHINERY DEPOT, 63 AND 70 COWGATE, DUNDEE. The Scotsman, 1st June 1888.

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We are happy to licence use of many images, extracts, and other resources of this website under a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial licence (Scotland). See full copyright statement. Such material should be attributed to Almond Valley Heritage Trust and, where practical, a hyperlink provided to www.scottishshale.co.uk.